Recently launched video-on-demand label Sundance Selects announced today that it has struck a deal with the Sundance Institute that will see three films from this year’s upcoming Sundance Film Festival become available on-demand across the nation in concurrence with their festival premieres. The featured films will be The Shock Doctrine, a documentary on disaster capitalism; Daddy Longlegs, “a fairy tale and bittersweet comedy about the responsibilities of parenthood”; and 7 Days, a revenge drama about a man who kidnaps his daughter’s killer for a week-long torture session. All three will be available on most major cable providers, as well as satellite provider DirecTV, for 30 days after their initial release, in a special section of your system’s on-demand channel.
Let’s hope that this is the first of many such ventures involving Sundance and other festivals. There is so much original and compelling filmmaking on display at these venues. And even though the festival circuit has become a major feeding ground for the studios in recent years, many films worthy of attention still end up slipping through the cracks, never being afforded the opportunity to reach a larger audience. VOD can go a long way toward remedying this.
Hit the jump to find out more about the three films that will be featured in this project, which organizers have dubbed “Direct from the Sundance Film Festival.”
Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross’ eye-opening socio-political documentary THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, which will make its North American premiere simultaneously at the Sundance Film Festival and on-demand through Sundance Selects on Thursday, January 28. Closely based on the best-selling book by Naomi Klein, THE SHOCK DOCTRINE seeks to explain the rise of disaster capitalism: the exploitation of moments of crisis in vulnerable countries by governments and big business. The film traces the doctrine’s beginnings in the radical theories of Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago, and its subsequent implementation over the past 40 years in countries as disparate as Augusto Pinochet’s Chile, Boris Yeltsin’s Russia, Margaret Thatcher’s Great Britain, and most recently through the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Winterbottom and Whitecross present a cinematic experience that takes this theory to a new audience, making heavy use of archival images, offset with new footage of Klein’s interviews and lectures. The Sundance premiere screening will be followed by an onstage dialogue with Robert Redford, Naomi Klein, and Michael Winterbottom to explore further the ideas presented in the film.
Making its North American premiere on Friday, January 22nd is DADDY LONGLEGS (formerly known as Go Get Some Rosemary), Josh and Benny Safdie’s autobiographical fairy tale and bittersweet comedy about the responsibilities of parenthood. Divorced and alone, Lenny (Ronald Bronstein) is the father of two young boys who he gets to see a couple of weeks a year. He cherishes these days with the kids, being both stern parent and lovable buddy, inventing myths and somehow living them, all while working overtime in the big city. When the going gets tough, Lenny uses some unusual, perhaps even hazardous, techniques to keep the kids safe from the world. With a fluid style, the Safdie brothers (whose previous credits include the acclaimed The Pleasure of Being Robbed) capture the magic of parenthood, invoking memories of their inventive dad from their own childhood.
Making its World premiere on Friday, January 22nd, as part of the Park City at Midnight program, Daniel Grou’s dark and gritty 7 DAYS (based on the best-selling novel “Les 7 Jours du Talion”) centers on a successful surgeon whose world is torn apart by the murder of his eight-year-old daughter. The father embarks on a quest for revenge against the perpetrator of this heinous crime, and in a game of cat and mouse with the police detectives assigned to the case, he successfully kidnaps the accused murderer as he is transported to the courthouse. With the roles now reversed, this father-turned-predator drives his prey to a remote cabin, where seven days of unspeakable torture await. He even keeps the police apprised of his plan, vowing to turn himself in after the execution of this alleged monster. Director Daniel Grou aka Podz does a masterful job of immersing the audience in this dark and gritty world, deftly capturing the psyche of a sane man gone mad. 7 DAYS is an eye-for-an-eye tale that is chock-full of tension, suspense, and inner conflict.